29 Apr 2014

Light sentence for £20k benefit fraud

She stole almost £20k of our money, and has to do 40 hours of unpaid work. A derisory sentence.

A benefit fraudster who cheated the taxpayer out of nearly £20,000 by not telling officers she was working has been ordered to do 40 hours of unpaid work.

An anonymous tip-off led City of York Council fraud investigators to uncover Muriel Hunter’s crimes.

The 67-year-old from Jute Road, Acomb, pleaded guilty to benefit fraud involving housing and council tax benefit before York magistrates.

The council said that she had received £15,674.87 in housing benefit and £4,262.83 in council tax benefit she was not entitled to. She had started claiming both benefits in August 2007 on the ground she had low income and wasn’t working.

In addition to the community order of 40 hours’ unpaid work, Hunter was ordered to pay £500 compensation to City of York Council.

The council has also set in place its own means of recovering as much of the money she received illegally as possible.

Cllr Tracey Simpson-Laing, cabinet member for housing, said:
City of York Council will always prosecute fraudulent claims and take action against those who abuse the system. We would like to thank the member of the public who brought this crime to our attention and encourage anyone with any information on fraudulent activity to phone the confidential fraud hotline on 01904 552935 or email
I wonder if the anonymous informant thinks justice has been done by this sentence?

For more light benefit fraud sentences click the link below.

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